Welcome to Mumbai. A little tongue-in-cheek humour always does good for your soul. Or so I believe. Born and brought up in this city, I have never had reasons good enough to leave this place. With all the nuisance that surrounds it, I keep falling more in love. Come savour the city as I take you through it in a true local style.
The glitz and the glamour built safely around the ever mushrooming tin homes. A city where magic coincides with the horror of survival each day. The dreams and the struggles makes it feel like so many parallel worlds subsist within just one world. Almost like a story of tragedy laced with humble victories. Mumbai is all of that.
It’s hard to get over a city you once called home if you’ve stayed here and moved on. But what’s more difficult is making it big in a city that demands Rs. 2 crore for a 1 BHK home in the heart of downtown… beat that! Call it the irony of a Mumbaikar that remains imprinted on their faces from the time they break dance their way to work over a dozen pits the first thing in the morning. The race begins for them as they stuff themselves up in claustrophobic boxes, too small to accommodate half of the city, till they board it again the same way, back home. Sounds crazy?… Try it and you’ll discover it’s the most convenient way to get around the city and skip the madness on the roads. You can sure add a dose of adventure to your journey if you wish, by travelling ticket-less. Though it will hardly sound adventurous if on that blessed day you walk into our very enterprising TC. And let me warn you, the fine is quite heavy… enough to feed Mamta Banerjee for a good two days. And that’s apart from the fact that you need to travel with your heart in your mouth, eyeing every commuter with suspect. Suspicion is the first step to self defense I guess… amidst a rough figure of 2.2 lakh people using the same mode of transport as you, yeah right!
Chaotic, filthy, demanding, stressful, restless. A plethora of words to just describe this simple unfailing spirit. So, why would hundreds of people want to migrate to this city each day?
There are a few good reasons I can think of right now. Free entertainment for instance. One rickshaw guy overtakes a guy in a huge car and that’s it. Within minutes, you have full blown action, drama, music and the audience. Now, I wonder why our directors go all the way abroad to shoot our masala flicks?… I watch Dostana every day on my way to work. The faces keep changing, their tendencies don’t. Talk about being a citizen of free India?… Little wonder why Mr. Thakrey thinks U.P. and Mumbai are not part of the same country. But again those are thoughts from the man who has been instrumental in renaming ‘Bomb’ay as Mumbai, which hasn’t really made it blastproof, you know!
Now, there’s one thing every tourist looks forward to on their trip to Mumbai. The night life here. Few cities in a country ruled my moral ethos can really match up to this insomnia land. But I say, you should also check out another unique feature of this city as the sun goes down. Women decide to do a bit of their normal fitness regime by taking a stroll down the lanes. What’s interesting is their choice of attire here. Nighties! Find it funny?… They don’t? and they don’t seem to care if you do. That’s Mumbai for you. In your face, bindaas, addictive, toxic. A city you can’t do with and can’t seem to get enough of either.
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